Interview: Andrew Heiser
Luca Curci talks with Andrew Heiser, one of the winners of PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – JANUARY 2021.
Andrew Heiser is an international awarded photographer, storyteller and artist. Originally from Indiana, he moved to Los Angeles 7 years ago to pursue his dreams of photography. Since then he has photographed celebrities such as Will Ferrell, Tom Ford, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Drake, the Kardashians, Larry King, Carol Burnett, among others. Heiser is currently the head photographer at the Jonathan Club, which is ranked as one of the Top 100 Platinum City Clubs in the World (2020-2021). Heiser’s work has been exhibited, published, and/or recognized by the Neutral Density Awards, Somewhere Magazine, The TAX Collection, Feature Shoot, ELLE Decor, House Beautiful, West Elm, CB2, Houzz, Kitchenaid, and more.
Aside from his professional accomplishments, Heiser has always had a strong passion for fine art photography. It is what drives him, keeps him motivated, and inspires him to grow as a person and as an artist.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Andrew Heiser – Art is mainly an emotional release; whether I’m feeling sad or stressed about something, or in an uplifting creative mood, art allows me to freely express myself. One of my favorite aspects about art is that it is always understood or interpreted differently depending on who is viewing or experiencing it.
LC – What are you currently working on?
AH – The past year with the pandemic I have had a difficult time staying focused and finding the motivation to work on my fine art. However I recently visited my hometown in Goshen, Indiana, which allowed me to continue an ongoing series of documenting the familiar landscape which encompassed my life until my early 20s. This project has been special for me because every image floods memories of my childhood. All of the photographs in this series are taken within a 3 or so block radius of my parents’ house where I grew up.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And contemporary art?
AH – I think the beauty for me has always been finding light amongst darkness. Life will always be full of obstacles, but with contemporary art, we as artists have the opportunity to be motivational and optimistic beacons to our society and to ourselves.
LC – According to you, what makes a good photo? Which details do you focus on?
AH – Photography, like every art form, is very subjective. To me a good photograph reminds you of a memory, or an imaginative world. It takes you to a place that goes beyond composition and creates a sense of emotion and wonder.
LC – How much is the editing process important? How’s yours?
AH – I grew up with Photoshop and it has always been a part of my work. Since I started photography back in 2001, I have always been fascinated with how you can change an image. Early on in my career I experimented with lots of digital manipulation and combing different elements to create something completely new. As I’ve matured, my work has become more natural, but I think I will always have some elements to make my images have a flare.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
AH – When I think I have ‘finished’ an image I always return to it later and change things. Sometimes it is a few hours later and other times it is days or weeks later. I think most artists would agree that it’s very difficult to completely ‘know’ when a piece of art is ready to be finalized. I am trying to get better at releasing my art even if I am not completely satisfied with it. I know I could always be tweaking things and making minor changes, but then I would never move on to build a new series or to pursue new endeavors.